Bu Daniel Hunter
England and Australia are fierce rivals on the cricket field, but relations are more amicable when it comes to exports of cricketing equipment from the UK to the land Down Under.
Trade figures show Australia maintained its position as the UK’s largest export market for cricket and polo equipment in 2014, with exports worth £1.1 million; an increase of 13 per cent on 2013 figures.
Minister for Trade and Investment, Lord Francis Maude, said:
“The UK and Oz are both cricket-mad nations and it’s great to see the Aussies continue to be bowled over by the excellent standard of our sporting equipment.
“I encourage all companies to take advantage of government support for exporters and sell their premium British-made products abroad.”
England international fast bowler Steven Finn said:
“The UK’s love for cricket is well known and evidenced by the high-quality cricketing equipment manufactured right here in Britain and exported across the world.”
One company taking advantage of the demand Down Under is Hawk Cricket. Established in 1996, the independent family company skilfully handcrafts its cricket bats in its Worcestershire workshop and also sells a range of cricketing apparel. Hawk Cricket has seen its business grow 40 per cent in the last three years with the company offering its customers additional services such as embroidery and leisurewear.
Hawk Cricket took its first steps into the international market in 2005 when the team joined a UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) trade trip to Australia. The team was introduced to local business contacts and used these new relationships to launch the business into Australasia. Its exporting business has gained ground in recent years and exports of cricket bats to Australia and New Zealand now account for 10 per cent of the company’s entire business.
Mike Hawk, co-founder of Hawk Cricket said:
“Exporting our cricket bats has transformed our business and we’ve seen a significant difference over the past two years. As well as Australia and New Zealand, we’re considering new markets in the Middle East.”
UKTI provides support to companies of all sizes to help them on their export journey. Businesses wishing to start exporting or those looking to enter new markets can approach their local UKTI team to access tailored support.